Content Warning: Mentions of sex
Have you noticed your Instagram feed filling up with your fellow students’ intimate, hilarious, disgusting, and bizarre confessions? For those who follow the account Spotted: McGill, the answer is yes. The popular page allows students to anonymously confess whatever they wish to the public via a Google Form. Of course, not all submissions are published—for which we should be grateful, considering how intense (and sometimes risqué) the published content can be. But many students have succeeded in getting their message out there, for everyone else to read (including myself—not telling which submission is mine, though).
Confessing is fun and carefree: Students can open their hearts enough to feel the relief of revealing a secret, without the embarrassment or even legal consequences that can come with a true confession. For those who leave Montreal in the summer, Spotted: McGill keeps them connected to campus goings-on. Reading about others’ romantic escapades in McLennan Library or disastrous dates at Thai Express reminds students of their lives back in Montreal.
Spotted: McGill helps students cut themselves slack by witnessing others’ embarrassing antics and blunders. We can empathize with one confessor who couldn’t figure out how to break up with a boyfriend who wouldn’t make time for them. We can giggle at the graduate student who apparently watches porn in the back of their class. A relatable confessor admitted to going to campus on days when they don’t even have class “just to feel something.” Plenty can sympathize with the confessor who lamented McGill athletes’ inability to satisfy her. Many posts are people confessing their crushes. Others are about people who can’t make the first move, can’t get over their crush, or are just lonely. Perhaps this is a bit sad, but it’s comforting to know others are out there.
Despite Spotted: McGill’s seeming popularity, plenty of students on campus are unconvinced of its trustworthiness or are even critical of its content. Tahys Courrier, U2 Arts, believes that all the confessions are true, making her wary of certain parts of campus.
“Tellement—genre—the bathroom, I’m not going to the bathroom anymore,” she said.
Lucie Harnais-Cheusel, U2 Arts, believes 70 per cent of the confessions are true.
“The pegging lore is way too intense to not be accurate,” she explained.
Harnais-Cheusel and Courrier also pointed out that the crushes described in the confessions are often attractive by traditional Western standards—for example, having blond hair or being skinny.
Another critique was that Spotted: McGill fails to actually connect people who are interested in one another. Even if you realize you’re the subject of a confession, you don’t know who your secret admirer is—the downside of anonymity. Margaux Chaillou, U2 Arts, who found Spotted: McGill’s obsession with silly student love life frivolous, stated her opinion plainly: “I vouch for its downfall.”
Despite criticism, the account is thriving with over 12,000 followers. “Spotted” Instagram accounts are popular at many universities. In fact, someone once wrote on Spotted: UofT that Spotted: McGill’s confessions frightened them.
“To the person who said go to McGill . . . I’m scared of you guys . . . Maybe York,” read the UofT confession.
Should you be scared of us? Maybe. Spotted: McGill is a cracked mirror that reveals our quirks, ferocious libido, and general awesomeness. We are weird and scary. Our squirrels are fat. Our administration isn’t zippy, to put it lightly. Our confessions are awe-inspiring and stomach-churning. So be it.
UofT and York students be warned.